All about Microsoft cloud apps


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All about Microsoft cloud apps

cloud with microsoft 365 logo in it

What's coming up?

In this activity, you’ll learn how Microsoft’s cloud apps and cloud ecosystem work. We’ll be focusing on the web browser versions of the apps, though most are also available as apps on mobile devices.

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Microsoft 365

Microsoft calls its cloud app and cloud storage ecosystem Microsoft 365, and it includes:

  • Outlook (for email)
  • Calendar
  • People (for your contacts)
  • To-do (for organising your day)
  • OneDrive (for storing your files and photos).
A range of Microsoft app logos

eSafety tip

Cloud apps link to cloud storage, and also work with certain kinds of downloadable apps, device operating software, and devices themselves. Because of this, the term we use to describe a brand of cloud service, such as Microsoft, is ecosystem.

Word, Excel and Powerpoint logos

Microsoft Office in the cloud

Microsoft 365 also includes some productivity apps you might have heard of before, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more. These are known as the Office apps.


eSafety tip

The Office apps are for getting productive work done and come in free and paid versions. While these apps are very useful, this course will focus more on apps that can help you out day-to-day.

Microsoft cloud apps are free

When you sign up for a free Microsoft account, you get access to free versions of the Microsoft 365 apps.

You can create a new Microsoft account for free, but if you have a Windows computer, you can also use the email and password you use to sign in to it.

Microsoft apps under the 365 logo
OneDrive URL displaying in address bar

How to find and access Microsoft cloud apps

Each of Microsoft’s cloud apps has its own website, but instead of having to remember all the website names, you can sign in using your web browser, via a single page. is a good page to use because it will show your files and photos that are backed up to the cloud.

When you visit, you will be asked to enter your Microsoft account email address and password, or to create a new account.

Opening an app

When you click the app grid icon in the top left of the OneDrive web page, a panel will open showing icons for all Microsoft’s cloud apps.

Click on any icon to go to that app’s website, and you can begin using the app.

The app grid with a list of 365 apps under it
A cloud with 5GB of storage in it

Cloud apps work with cloud storage

To save or edit files using cloud apps, you need some cloud storage. Your free Microsoft account comes with 5GB of included cloud storage.

This is a modest amount of storage, but should be enough for your files and documents, and quite a few photos too.

If you take a lot of photos and want to back them up to the cloud, you may need to purchase extra storage.

OneDrive is a cloud app too

Even though OneDrive is for storing your files and photos that are backed up to the cloud, it is considered as a cloud app too.

You can delete or move files around between different folders, and there’s a special Photo mode where you can view your backed-up photos and do some basic editing too.

OneDrove logo
App grid icon with list of 365 apps under it is a suite of free work apps

Microsoft Office includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and other productivity apps.

Microsoft now offers a free version of Office. When you click the app grid icon to see the cloud app icons, click the Office link at the top of the panel to explore Office for yourself. saves any files or documents you create to your OneDrive cloud storage.

Well done!

This is the end of the All about Microsoft cloud apps activity. You’ve learned how Microsoft organises its cloud apps, and where you can find them.

Up next, you can learn about Getting started with Microsoft apps, including making a new Microsoft account or using an account you might already have.

365 apps sitting inside a cloud